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Michael Flemmi Trial – Re-cap
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LAST ISSUE 5-13-02



     As many AmericanMafia.com readers know, Rick Porrello and I are co-authoring a book on the history of organized crime in the Mahoning Valley and Western Pennsylvania. In our efforts to complete this project by year-end we have found it necessary to publish the Current Mob Report every other week until the research/writing phase of the book is completed.

     During the off-weeks we will continue to publish "This Week in Mob History" and update the "Trials and Tribulations" section. In addition, if we do a two-part feature the second piece will be carried over to the off-week. However, normal feature stories and "Short Takes" will be published every other week.

     During the ten months we have been publishing the Current Mob Report we have received many favorable responses and appreciate the positive attention that has been given to this feature on all of the Forums. We hope our readers understand our decision and we look forward to getting the book completed and returning to our normal weekly format.

     AmericanMafia.com thanks everyone for their understanding and their continued support.

Michael Flemmi Trial – Re-cap     ^TOP

     On Friday, May 3 Michael Flemmi, a retired Boston police officer and the brother of Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, the infamous co-leader, with fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger, of the Winter Hill Gang, faced a federal jury. The 64 year-old Flemmi was convicted of obstruction of justice – for hiding his brother’s arsenal of weapons; perjury –for lying to a grand jury about where the weapons were hidden; and trying to prevent law enforcement from seizing them.

     Much of the information for this story comes from the Boston Herald’s premier crime reporter, J. M. Lawrence, who has become a friend to us at AmericanMafia.com. Lawrence has been busy these past few months "courtroom hopping" from the Michael Caruso trial, to the Michael Flemmi trial, and she is now covering the trail of "Dishonest John" Connolly. AmericanMafia.com applauds her efforts.

     Everyone familiar with the on-going disaster in Boston, which includes the exploits of several rogue FBI agents, knows that Winter Hill mobsters Bulger and Flemmi are at the center of it. Michael Flemmi’s descent into the dark abyss began shortly after the announcement that a Winter Hill associate, Kevin J. Weeks, was cooperating with the authorities following his November 1999 arrest.

     At that time Stephen Flemmi, concerned about Weeks revealing to the FBI the location of the gang’s arsenal, summoned his son, William St. Croix, to prison. According to investigators, from the late 1980s through the ‘90s the weapons were hidden in a "secret place" at the Third Street home of Flemmi’s mother, Mary Irene Flemmi, who, in her 90s, was battling Alzheimer’s and kidney failure. St. Croix was told to remove the weapons from the home to a new location. Recruited to help with this transfer was Michael Flemmi, St. Croix’s uncle. On January 11, 2000 the two men removed the weapons, which were later recovered from two locations: alongside a home a Dale Street in Somerville, buried in a hole; and at a storage facility in Florida near where St. Croix was living.

     Michael Flemmi would lie about his participation in the movement of the guns and, after St. Croix decided to cooperate with the government, was indicted. On the day of his arrest Flemmi collapsed with chest pains and an ambulance was called. Of St. Croix Michael Flemmi would later say, "He’s ruined my life. He wants to hurt his father through me."

     The cache of weapons recovered by the government was impressive. Included among the haul were revolvers, pistols, rifles, a "grease-gun," a sawed off shotgun, and an Israeli semi-automatic sub-machinegun. In addition, there were silencers, brass knuckles, masks and plenty of ammunition.

     The government was represented by "veteran organized crime prosecutor" Fred Wyshak; Flemmi’s defense was handled by John LaChance; and US District Judge Robert G. Stearns oversaw the proceedings.


Wednesday, April 17 – Prosecutors and defense attorneys gave their opening statements. Wyshak outlined the government’s case and showed off the "chilling display of the Bulger gang’s fire power." Wyshak told jurors, "They were ready to go to war." The jury was told that St. Croix went to the authorities after his father made a jailhouse confession to murdering his half-sister, Deborah Hussey, with whom Stephen Flemmi was having an affair. St. Croix received an immunity deal from the government and moving expenses as part of his cooperation. LaChance told the jury that his client, who served 32 years on the Boston police force before retiring last year, was falsely implicated by St. Croix, who he described as an "admitted drug dealer and con man who is now cooperating with the government and holds a grudge against his uncle."

Thursday, April 18 – Steven Migridichian was on the witness stand for the government. He served as the foreman of the federal grand jury that from June 1999 until June 2001 heard more than 100 witnesses testify about the Winter Hill Gang and law enforcement corruption. Migridichian testified that during Michael Flemmi’s June 2000 testimony he offered "no helpful information about the whereabouts of the gang’s arsenal."

Friday, April 19 – The jury was primed for today’s testimony of former Winter Hill gangster Kevin Weeks by Judge Stearns, who told them to expect an interesting day of testimony. Weeks made a deal with the government to avoid a life sentence for his participation in crimes with Bulger and Flemmi. Weeks said he was "noticed" by Bulger at the Triple O’s lounge for the way he used his fists as a bouncer. Weeks then described murders Bulger had been involved with including the 1982 killing of Brian Halloran and Michael Donohue. He then detailed the 1983 shooting of Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, who was shot in the head by Bulger. The "takeover" of the South Boston liquor store of Stephen Rakes and his wife was then discussed. Finally, he gave the lurid details of the murder of Deborah Hussey, the daughter of Stephen Flemmi’s common-law wife. Both Bulger and Flemmi took turns strangling the 26-year-old stripper. Weeks helped bury several of the victims at a gravesite he revealed to authorities in 2000.

Michael Flemmi was never a part of these atrocities, but Weeks testified that while Flemmi was a police officer he gave two guns to a Winter Hill Gang member in 1999 and that during visits to the gang’s liquor store headquarters, which was taken from the Rakes, that he ignored the loansharking operation that went on there, and he would often be there while Weeks was cleaning and loading guns. "He was Steve’s brother. We trusted him," said Weeks. While visiting Stephen Flemmi at the Plymouth House of Corrections, Weeks said Michael was present when he "snuck" a pad of paper and a pencil into the visiting area so he could hold up messages and avoid the guards who were listening in on the phone conversations. Weeks said Michael was also present during discussions about former FBI Agent "Dishonest John" Connolly.

Monday, April 22 – Weeks is back on the stand answering prosecutor’s questions as to why he didn’t make any effort to stop the killings. "I would have been going in the hole myself," Weeks stated. "And I seen first hand what happened to people who went to law enforcement," an obvious reference to the gang’s relationship with "Dishonest John." The only point the defense brought out was that Weeks revealed Michael had given him two guns only a short time before the trial began.

Michael T. Allen, described as "a former derelict with a history of driving drunk and sleeping in parked cars," testified that he was on hand the day the arsenal was removed. He was told to "distract" the elderly Mary Irene Flemmi, while Michael and St. Croix removed the weapons from a cabana in the backyard. Allen relocated several duffel bags full of the guns to a rooming house where he was staying. He cut off several of the rifle butts to make storing them easier. He later moved out of the room stating, "I got sick of sleeping with guns." Allen’s face was scarred from a cut St. Croix put there with a knife during an argument over drug profits. Another witness, Michael Holloran, a state police crime scene expert testified that no fingerprints of Michael Flemmi’s were found on the weapons. Fingerprints "are notoriously difficult to lift from weapons," Holloran stated, "A positive identification occurs in less than 3 percent of tests."

Thursday, April 23 – The prosecution’s key witness testified today. Prosecutor Wyshak elicited a litany of crimes St. Croix committed from drug dealing to assaulting a meter maid. Because of the Flemmi name, St. Croix testified he felt he was immune from the retaliation of the underworld figures he ripped off.

St. Croix told the court that he and his uncle removed the arsenal from his grandmother’s home in January 2000 on orders from his imprisoned father. St. Croix also revealed that Michael Flemmi collected money from bookmakers after Stephen Flemmi’s arrest in 1995. St. Croix was present when the brother of New England Mafia boss, Francis P. "Cadillac Frank" Salemme, delivered $25,000 to Michael Flemmi to help with Stephen’s legal expenses.

Wednesday, April 24 – St. Croix was back on the stand testifying about the day his father told him he murdered St. Croix’s half-sister, Deborah Hussey. On January 20, 2000 when St. Croix questioned Stephen Flemmi about the murder, which had been alleged in the newspapers based on Weeks’ revelations, he replied, "Yes, I did, but I can’t explain." St. Croix told the court, "I could not believe it. I was so mad. I was devastated." He testified that Michael Flemmi, who was present during the confession, tried to offer a logical explanation for the brutal murder.

"You know she was having sexual relations with black men and she was drug dealing," Michael told him.

"Mikey, your daughter was a stripper and had a drug problem. Does that mean she should be dead, too?" screamed St. Croix.

Prison guards separated the two men. After one more visit to the prison St. Croix said he "severed all ties to the father he had once considered his best friend." He also testified that a younger sister had been sexually assaulted by Stephen Flemmi. She ended up dying of a drug overdose on St. Croix’s birthday in 1999.

Thursday, April 25 – St. Croix is on the stand for the third straight day, this time under cross-examination. Defense attorney LaChance portrayed him as a "practiced con man" who once lied to New England crime boss Salemme about a series of scams he was running. St. Croix, who was undergoing cancer treatments at the time, said he began thinking about becoming a government witness. He claimed he had "months of painful soul-searching and talks with his mother about whether to turn on his father and uncle." There were several heated exchanges between St. Croix and LaChance. The lawyer painted a picture that St. Croix "was forced to give up his life of crime because nobody would deal with him after his jailed father was publicly exposed in 1997 as a longtime FBI informant."

Tuesday, April 30 – The defense decides not to put Michael Flemmi on the stand and closing arguments begin. It’s the same old tune for LaChance, who didn’t offer much of a defense for his client. St. Croix was a con man and with the help of his "toadie" friend, Michael Allen, they concocted a fairy tale. Assistant US Attorney Brian Kelly told the jury, "it’s not as if he’s an accountant in Iowa helping his brother on the East Coast. He’s a Boston cop working in the city where his brother is a notorious gangster."

Friday, May 3 – After deliberating for 18 hours over three days the jury returned with a guilty verdict. Michael Flemmi will remain in home detention, monitored with an electronic bracelet, until his sentencing on July 15. At that time he faces 8 to 10 years in prison. Flemmi’s lawyer told reporters that he thought all the testimony about mob murders helped sway the jury along with Michael’s close relationship with his brother Stephen. LaChance said he plans to appeal the case.

As for St. Croix, the twice-divorced father who was called a "DeNiro look-alike" by courtroom watchers, J. M. Lawrence writes, "His dream is to sell his life story to Hollywood." With everything that’s been going on in Boston these past 35 years, Tinsel Town could produce a Boston mob-film series with more sequels than Friday the 13th.

And it would be every bit as bloody.

Correction: Last week we received an e-mail from Joshua Reicks who pointed out a couple of errors in the "Tommy Horsehead" story. I incorrectly identified Salvatore "Chuckie" Merlino as the Merlino brother that became a government witness. It was actually Lawrence "Yogi" Merlino that flipped. Reicks also questioned whether Ronald Turchi was the underboss or consigliere. After a re-check of the sources we are still not sure. In an April 26, 2001 article Kitty Caparella of the Philadelphia Daily News identified Turchi as the "One-time underboss..." while in an article she co-wrote on October 28, 1999 Turchi was referred to as "a one-time mob consigliere." Philadelphia mob expert George Anastasia took a neutral position identifying Turchi as "Once a high-ranking member of the local mob." AmericanMafia.com thanks Reicks for keeping us on our toes.

Short Takes     ^TOP

Chicago – While the "Plunder Dome" trial is eating up the newspapers in Providence and the rest of the North East, look for things to get rolling in the Betty Loren-Maltese trial in Chicago. AmericanMafia.com has officially dubbed the trial "Plunder Broad." On May 3 Loren-Maltese’s lawyer, Terence Gillespie, filed paperwork with the court to have his client’s case separated from the nine others who are scheduled to go to trial. Included in this number are former police chief / safety director Emil Schullo and Cicero mob boss Michael Spano, who were found guilty in a trial in March; Spano of 11 counts of bribery, money laundering, tax evasion and theft; Schullo of bribery and embezzling taxpayer money. Schullo and another defendant, Joseph DeChicio, once tried to oust Loren-Maltese from office. Prosecutors released information earlier this month that in the mid-1990s Steven Signore, an associate of Spano, asked for $12,000 to cover the Cicero summer festivals. Mayor, or town president, or lady Fuhrer, or whatever you want to call Loren-Maltese, telephoned the city treasurer’s office and ordered a check cut for $32,000. Guess where the $20,000 ended up? This is one greedy broad. But Signore "cut and rolled" and is a now a government witness. The $20,000 is just a drop in the bucket of what prosecutors contend was a $10 million dollar rape job that the defendants collected from a mob backed insurance agency run by Spano during the 1990s. With all the bad blood at the defense table this trial should be am interesting one.

Las Vegas – After several weeks of nonsense, US District Judge Joseph Bonaventure faced his accuser, San Francisco lawyer J. Tony Serra, in court on May 9. Jeff German of the Las Vegas Sun, whose book signing ceremony for Murder in Sin City was the basis of the ruckus, writes, "Bonaventure expressed his displeasure with the conduct of Rick Tabish’s attorney, J. Tony Serra... but said he had no authority now to take any action against the lawyer." Too bad! Mob watchers would have loved to have seen the big old judge squash this guy. Instead, Bonaventure, in a move that surprised no one, stayed all proceedings in the Ted Binion murder case until the Nevada Supreme Court rules on the appeal after oral arguments begin on June 27 in Carson City. The bullshit in this case started when Serra filed a motion to have Bonaventure removed because he autographed some of German’s books at the request of purchasers when he went to by his own copy at a book signing held at the Horseshoe Casino. Because, in Serra’s opinion, the book did not portray Tabish in a flattering light," he filed to have the judge removed without the knowledge of Sandra Murphy’s lawyer or attorney Bill Terry, who filed the request with Bonaventure for Serra’s assistance. Terry was so upset at the brazen motion that he asked for, and was granted, removal as counsel for Tabish. In the meantime, David Roger, the lead prosecutor in the case, asked that Serra be removed for not disclosing disciplinary actions imposed on him by the State of California.

New York – Common sense ruled and Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano has dumped his New York counsel, Lynne "Clock Stopper" Stewart, as his defense attorney. This is a little too bizarre for me folks. Stewart is accused of aiding her terrorist client Sheik Omar "Santa Claus Hat" Abdel-Rahman. While Sammy initially chose to keep Stewart as his counsel, Judge Allyne Ross appointed Anthony Ricco to work with Gravano to point out the error of his ways. The New York Daily News reported Sammy "changed his mind after getting a peek at secret information even Stewart hasn’t seen." Ricco, who hopes to be appointed Gravano’s new lawyer, told reporters, "It’s the sealed information that makes it inappropriate for Lynne to continue as counsel." It should be noted, however, that Ricco’s former clients include a follower of Abdel-Rahman and an Al Qaeda terrorist who was convicted for his role in the US embassy bombings in Africa. Does this guy seem like the best choice available to you? Gravano, who once swore to "stand by" Stewart will only be doing so now if they create co-ed federal prisons. Meanwhile, Daily News staff writer John Marzulli needs to be brought up to date on the latest mob lingo. He referred to Gravano in his article as a "mob canary." John that term went out the window with Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. According to the AmericanMafia.com unabridged mob dictionary, the term you are looking for is "rat" or "rat bastard," defined simply as "a former mobster-turned-government-witness."

Philadelphia – Here’s a surprise! William "Dust Bunny" Rinick is back in the news. He claims, "I just want my stuff back." Included in his "stuff" is his Harley-Davidson, two expensive automobiles, four rental properties and $90,000 plus in cash. The government says, "No way!" Rinick went to court on May 8 to get his "stuff." He was represented by attorney Joseph Levin. Hey, what happened to Edwin? Common Pleas Court Judge Denis P. Cohen’s response to the request was that everything that was seized is part of an on-going investigation and until that investigation is completed, Rinick does not get his "stuff" back. While Levin claimed the government doesn’t have a case, Deputy Senior State Attorney General John Flannery has another perspective. After watching the "Dust Bunny" boast in a televised interview that he’s a multimillionaire real-estate entrepreneur, Flannery suggests that the seized "stuff" should only be "a minor inconvenience to someone of Mr. Rinick’s means."

On Monday, May 13 an arrest warrant was issued for Rinick for the murder of Adam Finelli. A squad of police officers and SWAT team members searched for Rinick at his ailing mother’s home. On Tuesday Rinick turned himself in.

Youngstown – The "City of Mobsterly Love" is back in the news and it isn’t about old Jimbo Traficant. The Youngstown Vindicator reported that Ronald D. Carabbia, convicted of killing Cleveland mobster Daniel J. "Danny" Greene in October 1977, will be paroled around May 20 after spending 22 and a half years in prison. The Carabbia brothers – Ronald, Charles and Orland – had a colorful career in the Mahoning Valley during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. They were considered the Cleveland faction of the Mahoning Valley Mob. The brothers were allegedly involved in the bombings and killings that marked the era as the factions fought for control of the valley’s illicit rackets. Ronald Carabbia was fingered in the Greene murder by the driver of the getaway car, Raymond W. Ferritto, who became a government witness. Carabbia was defended at trial by then Youngstown criminal defense attorney Carmen A. Policy, now president of the Cleveland Browns. While the investigation and trial was going on the Mahoning Valley was enmeshed in the Naples / Carabbia War, which took ten lives and for all intents and purposes ended with the disappearance of Charles Carabbia in December 1980. Disappointed with the release of Carabbia was FBI Special Agent John Kane, who believes the 73-year-old Carabbia should remain in prison. Kane stated, "We would expect him to take a role in organized crime once he gets out – it’s not like old generals who just fade away." AmericanMafia.com says shame on Kane if Carabbia does. The FBI, in general, and Assistant US Attorney Craig Morford, in particular, have worked hard to clean out the crime and corruption in the valley. It’s up to Kane, just like the Cleveland FBI of a generation ago, to keep it that way.

Update: On Thursday, May 16 the Youngstown Vindicator reported that the Carabbia parole has been delayed due to the efforts of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason and FBI Special Agent Joseph Bushner. It turns out Carabbia’s next parole hearing was not scheduled until June 2005. A new hearing is scheduled for next month to clear up the matter.

This Week in Mob History     ^TOP

May 22, 1958 – Anthony "Tony" Musso, according to Organized Crime: 25 Years after Valachi, was the boss of the Rockford, Illinois family. He died of natural causes and was temporarily succeeded by Jasper Calo and then later by Joseph Zammuto. Now I know many of you mob historians are wondering if Calo is the only big name mobster to be named Jasper and the answer is no. One of the major gambling figures in Youngstown was Jasper "Fats" Aiello. However, unlike his namesakes from Chicago, Jasper pronounced his last name A-Lee-O, not I-ello.

May 22, 1973 – James "Jimmy" McBratney’s death has become one of gangland’s most enduring fables. McBratney was murdered in a Staten Island bar called "Snoopes" by Ralph "Ralphie Wigs" Galione while he was in the grips of John Gotti and Angelo Ruggiero. The rumor was that he was being murdered for the killing of Emmanuel "Manny" Gambino, the nephew of revered mob boss Carlo Gambino. The belief was so strong that prosecutor Diane Giacalone opened her 1986 RICO against trial against Gotti by relating the murder to the jury in her opening statement. It got to the point where Gotti himself believed the story. The fact was McBratney had nothing to do with Gambino’s death. He was being hunted down after it was discovered he had been involved in several mob kidnappings. On June 1, 1973 Henry Robert Senter, who owed Gambino some $70,000, pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Senter had murdered Manny Gambino and tried to make it look like a kidnapping by demanding a ransom after he shot Gambino in the head and buried him. See my stories at http://www.crimelibrary.com/john/johnmain.htm and http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_10-25-99.html

May 22, 1978 – Joseph Colombo, Sr. died after nearly six years of living in a vegetative state. Colombo was a media splash in the early 1970s with his creation of the Italian / American Civil Rights League. On June 28, 1971 he was shot in the head and critically wounded, at the second Unity Day rally of the league, by Black gunman Jerome Johnson, who was immediately shot to death by Colombo bodyguards. To this day the debate continues as to whether the hit was orchestrated by Joey Gallo, Carlo Gambino or was it the work of a lone and demented gunman.

May 23, 1981 – Harry Peetros was a Greek loanshark in Philadelphia whose murder has never been solved. Originally believed to be tied to the subsequent murders of Greek mob boss Chelsais "Stevie" Bouras and his girlfriend Jeanette Curro, police now believe he may have been murdered by someone who owed him a lot of money.

May 24, 1990 – Louis " Louie Irish" DeLuca ran up a huge credit with Philadelphia mobsters Michael Ciancaglini, George Borgesi and Tommy Scafidi, before they collected in a strange way – they murdered him.

May 25, 1925 – Angelo Genna was the highest achieving brother of the notorious Genna clan of Chicago and the first to die. Angelo, who led hit squads during the "Bloody 19th Ward War," became president of the Unione Siciliana after the death of Mike Merlo. Five months after his marriage to Lucille Spingola, the younger sister of wealthy Sicilian politician Henry Spingola, Angelo left the house with $11,000 in cash to purchase the couple’s dream home. His automobile was overtaken by gunmen believed to be Hymie Weiss, George "Bugs" Moran, Vincent "the Schemer" Drucci and Frank Gusenberg of the North Side mob. Genna crashed the car into a lamppost before a shotgun blast severed his spine. He lived long enough to see Lucille at Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. See my column http://www.americanmafia.com/Allan_May_10-15-00.html

May 25, 1927 – Antonio "Anthony" Torchio of New York was one of the daring who decided to take a shot at earning the $50,000 prize Joseph Aiello placed on the head of rival Al Capone during the Capone / Aiello War in Chicago. Capone triggerman "Machine Gun Jack" McGurn allegedly sent the would-be gunman packing – in a coffin – back to where he came from.

May 25, 1937 – George "Whitey" Rudnick, described as "a very low thug in Lepke’s garment industry operation," was killed by Murder, Inc. members Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, "Happy" Maione and Frank "the Dasher" Abbandando because he "had been spotted talking to a detective." In one of the more graphic murders that Reles would later describe, he stated that after strangling Rudnick they realized he was still alive. Reles relates, "they heard him moan as they were stuffing his body into the car. ‘Strauss said, ‘De bum ain’t dead yet,’ and jabbed an icepick in his throat. Maione hit him across the head with the meat chopper, and then Maione said, ‘That oughta fix de bum up.’"

May 25, 1939 – Morris "Moishe" Diamond was among the slew of people whacked on the orders of Louis "Lepke" Buchalter while he was a government fugitive and trying to eliminate everyone Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey was attempting to get information from. Diamond was the business manager of Local 138 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Chauffeurs. The murder took place at 6:10 am as Diamond was heading to work. He was shot five times by a gunman who stepped out of an automobile. Diamond, originally from Poland, was 53.

May 25, 1983 – Rocco Scafidi, according to the Pennsylvania Crime Commission’s 1990 Report, was a member of the Philadelphia Mafia Family and died of natural causes. There were three deceased members with the last name of Scafidi, so we assume these are the relatives of "Tommy Horsehead" that we wrote about in last week’s feature article.

May 26, 1976 – John T. Scalish, the longtime boss of the Cleveland Mafia Family, died in the recovery room of University Hospitals in Cleveland. Scalish, who was in failing health, did not survive a tricky heart operation. Scalish had served as boss of the Cleveland Family for 32 years, taking over from Al Polizzi in 1944. He attended the infamous Apalachin summit in 1957. People have questioned the spelling of Scalish’s last name over the years, pointing out the obvious fact that it didn’t end in a vowel. In an obituary in the defunct Cleveland Press it stated that he was born in Cleveland as Giovanni Scalici. Scalish’s death set off the "Bombing War" in Cleveland, which eventually resulted in the complete demise of the Cleveland Family. See Rick Porrello’s book To Kill the Irishman and his article at http://www.americanmafia.com/Feature_Articles_6.html

May 26, 1991 – Roland V. Libonati was a colorful Chicago attorney, who served nearly 30 years as a Democratic state legislature and congressman from the city’s near West Side. Libonati was noted for defending Chicago mob boss Al Capone. He was interviewed for the popular documentary Crime, Inc., narrated by British journalist Martin Short. He died of natural causes at his Chicago home at the age of 90.

Trials and Tribulations     ^TOP

AmericanMafia.com attempts to keep its audience advised of ongoing legal matters in the world of organized crime. New entries and addition to existing information will appear in RED.

     Due to space constraints, the complete "Trials and Tribulations" listing will only be shown on the first Monday of each month. Weekly we will show the ones that are due to occur in the next 30 days and any new additions.


May 20, 2002 – Chicago – Michael Spano, Sr. and Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese go to trial for looting the city coffers of millions of dollars.

May 28, 2002 – Boston – US District Judge Robert E. Keeton will hear arguments on the April 16 conviction of Michael L. Carucci. The judge will decide whether to uphold the conviction or overturn the six convictions the jury arrived at. Carucci was found guilty of transferring money earned from the criminal activity of Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, who earlier pled guilty to the same charges.

June 27, 2002 – Las Vegas – The Nevada Supreme Court has scheduled arguments on the appeals of Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish the convicted murderers of Ted Binion. Alan Dershowitz will argue Murphy’s case.

July 29, 2002 – Cleveland – Richard E. Detore goes to trial on one count of conspiring to violate a federal bribery statute involving United States Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr.

POSTPONED INDEFINITELY – Rochester, NYAlbert M Ranieri goes on trial for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Since his arrest on December 29, 2000, another defendant, prominent defense attorney Anthony Leonardo, Jr., has pled guilty and implicated Ranieri in the May 2000 murder of his former business partner Anthony Vaccaro. Authorities also suspect Ranieri of a 1990 armor car heist of $11 million.

STILL WAITING ON A DATE FOR THIS ONE – Boston – Retired state trooper Richard J. Schneiderman goes on trial on charges that he hampered the FBI’s search for James "Whitey" Bulger by letting Bulger family members know that the FBI had requested pen registers on their telephones. The trial was originally scheduled for January 28.

STILL WAITING ON A DATE FOR THIS ONE – Boston – The racketeering trial of Robert Luisi, Jr. is scheduled to get underway before US District Court Judge Reginald C. Lindsay. Luisi at one time had a plea agreement which called for him to testify against Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino last year. On December 27, 2001 Luisi withdrew the plea.


May 17, 2002 – New York – Colombo Family underboss John "Jackie" DeRoss will be sentenced for his February 6 conviction on extortion charges.

May 23, 2002 – New York – Nicholas Gambino will get his official sentence of five years probation after copping a plea on April 17 involving the stabbing of two men outside the Metropolis nightclub in Queens. A February trial resulted in Gambino being acquitted on 9 of 12 charges after he took the stand and lied to the jury telling them he had acted in self-defense.

June 2002 – Buffalo – Three former Buffalo narcotics detectives will be sentenced for their role in stealing money from an undercover FBI agent posing as a Jamaican drug dealer. The men were found guilty in March.

June 2002 – Newark – Nicodemo "Young Nicky" Scarfo will be sentenced for supervising a North Jersey gambling operation by US District Judge Joel Pisano.

June 13, 2002 – New York – Alphonse "Allie Boy" Persico will be sentenced after pleading guilty to extortion, loansharking and money laundering. The son of jailed-for-life mobster Carmine "the Snake" Persico was the alleged "acting boss of the Colombo family.

June 27, 2002 – Cleveland – Mahoning Valley Congressman James A. Traficant, Jr., will be sentenced after being found guilty on all ten counts in a Federal trial which ended April 11.

July 10, 2002 – Philadelphia – William Rinick will be sentenced for his April 17 assault conviction of Salvatore Abbruzzese in a South Philadelphia men’s shop. Rinick made headlines in December 2001 when narcotics investigators raided the home of Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino and found Rinick hiding under the bed of one of Merlino’s daughters.

July 15, 2002 – Boston – Michael Flemmi, the brother of notorious Winter Hill Gang member Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, will be sentenced for his May 3 conviction of obstruction of justice and perjury. Michael Flemmi helped hide the arsenal of the Winter Hill Gang and lied to a grand jury about it.

Contact: AllanMay@AmericanMafia.com


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